La Clauze towards Nasbinols

Continuing with the story of the vegetarian food ….. K had reminded Michel about the two vegetarians, and Michel replied ‘no problem – if there isn’t anything we’ll put them out with the goats and cows’.

This is the vegetarian main course.

Yes. Those are sausages. We ate the but in the middle… Aligod. A local delicacy of potatoes onions and cheese. Truly delicious.

Michel used to run this Gite with his wife who is no longer there. He does a wonderful job himself:

Homemade apple flan:

And jam:

An incredibly cosy place – almost like a sauna with widespread wood panelling, a huge wood burning stove – and all our washing carefully folded and ready in the morning….

Thankyou Michel for a wonderful stay.

In the village was a Refuge: a small building with a fireplace, chair and table for pilgrims to take shelter in.

The structure in front of it, now incomplete, is for shoeing cows….presumably for the ‘transhumance’ or transfer of cattle from the valleys to the higher slopes of the Massif. It’s a complicated structure, with leather straps to lift the cow, and a variable length structure to adjust to cow size.

We have now left lentil country and are into ‘milk country’. The geology is totally different : flatter, greener. Unsurprisingly more cows

We stopped early on our trip from la Clauze to Rouget at a farm – the only place all day to obtain lunch. For a simple cheese and salad sandwich to take away, 6€ seemed quite high. Little did we know it was a woman eating sandwich…..

Ye

But as the day went on it became wild again, more forested ‘as if going back to an ancient country’ says the guide.

A lot of effort is placed on maintaining sustainability. This is an FSC Forest.

The last remaining French stronghold of bisons is close to the area which is also reputedly plentiful in raspberries, strawberries and bilberries in the summer.

A cosy lunch stop albeit ultimately very cold. K hiding, surprisingly well considering his gilet Jaune behind a tree.

And so, after many km, to La Ferme du Plot Du Clô, a Gite we had to access by entering a huge barn. HUUUUGGGEEE. And climb the steps to a slightly old fashioned arrangement of rooms at the end.

The whole arrangement was heated, or not really, by a single wood burning stove. There was one blanket each so it was necessary to get up to put on socks, shirt etc. Then the rustling began…. transpires Susan is not keen on mice either…..

But before that, Megg, our resident therapist, helped sort out Helen’s leg and Keith’s knee. K seemed to really enjoy it.

Marie our host:

Dinner:

Views from the room:

We really are tramping across until miles of really empty countryside, sparsely populated villages and the occasional small town.

I forgot to mention Saugues a couple of days ago – an oasis but not articulately special. However the way in was improved by some wonderful carvings:

Items lost: 1 cumulative

Distance: 22 cumulative 76

Items lost: 7

Taxi: nil

Tantrums: giggled our way through the day.

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